I am going to talk about Sin city, an action, detective and all in all fantastic film released in 2005, directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino (but only for the sequence in Dwight's car, in which he talks with the policeman Jackie, while he (Jackie) is dead). Sin city was originally a comic, which was adapted to cinema. It shows a dangerous and a corrupt city. The movie is divided into four or rather in three independent stories: each story corresponds to one of the three main characters, who are, Hartigan (played by Bruce Willis) who is wrongly accused of the rape of a little girl whom he protects, Marv (played by Mickey Rourke) who wants to avenge Goldie, a prostitute who has been mysteriously killed, while she was sleeping with him and Dwight (played by Clive Owen) who protects a battered woman (Shelly) and the old town (the prostitutes). We will see Sin City's originality, and why we can say that this film is completely different from what we have seen in cinema until now. First, we will study the context and the aesthetics (the mise-en-scène, the form), and then, the unusual conception of things (the subject).
As I said in the introduction, Sin city was originally a comic (written and drawn by Frank Miller), which has been transposed and not adapted for cinema. Indeed, the film is very faithful to the comic.
[...] For all those reasons and elements, we can say that Sin City is really different from what we have seen in cinema until now. It shows that there is not any place in this society for people who want to dispense justice, do Good” but also for people who are a bit “sensitive”, or at least who have some morals and a little humanity. Indeed, Marv is killed, Hartigan sacrifices himself to protect Nancy and Becky is rejected by the prostitutes, because she gave them away to the Mafia because the Mafia threatens to kill her mother. [...]
[...] In addition, Sin City talks about things which are not often treated or at least brought up in cinema in general. Sin City deals with them in a particular way, under a particular angle, as we have began to see with the police, the Church etc. Moreover, the film follows the prostitutes, tackles child rape and murders, shows a battered woman (Shelly, and we remark that Nancy was also beaten up a year before by her ex boyfriend), and two homosexuals. [...]
[...] We can say that it pays tribute for its film noir, but it gives a modern touch, style to it and an unusual conception of things. That is what we will study in more detail now. Sin City is about a dangerous and a dark city, in which Evil reigns. In most films, we have Good on the one hand and Evil on the other hand Evil being marginalized. However, in Basin City (the name of the city), everybody even the clergymen - are corrupt and sinful. [...]
[...] In fact, we can not say that there is Good or Evil; the law of the jungle prevails: the strongest wins and survives and the weakest lose and die. People have to fight to survive, that is why we can not say that there is a clear boundary and a clear opposition between Good and Evil. Moreover, we have the feeling that there is no real law - or at least that they are not respected - that there is constantly a laws' infringement (murders, policemen who punch and torture people . [...]
[...] Nevertheless, the spectator considers the characters as marginal if he compares them to reality because they are pitiless and kill people without any remorse, but, in the film, they are the city is made up of only people like that (that is to say prostitutes, policemen, mafia, killers . They are not rejected by society and prostitution seems to be a and common thing. I think that this is also the case for homosexuality. So, while, very often, cinema shows the other people's opinion, in Sin City, we have the feeling that we have a modern view and almost a “futuristic” view, in which all people are accepted, and in which things which don't seem to us are common things in this society. [...]
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